Recent posts

Confusion About Whether Pregnant Women Can Die

Republican Representative Joe Walsh has said that abortion is never necessary to save the life of a mother because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a pregnant woman dying. Um, no, sorry, that’s not the case. Medical advances have certainly aided women in surviving pregnancy and childbirth, but it’s not been an absolute triumph. For instance, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have stated in this article: “Abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health. Unfortunately, pregnancy is not a risk-free life event.” Continue Reading →

Gendered Micro-Inequities In Academia

Ah, the start of another school year! I love the beginning of the semester because it’s always an invigorating time. I’m excited to be teaching an introduction to folklore class, which means I get to view my beloved discipline through new eyes. However, this is also a time to reflect on and take stock of what it means to be an academic. And for women, people of color, and other minorities, this can be an unsettling topic. Continue Reading →

What to Call Your Kids’ Naughty Bits

As someone who has been babysitting for over 10 years, I’ve probably heard fifty different words that parents use to describe their kids’ naughty bits. Really, I’ve heard it all, from pee-pee to bajingo, vee vee to private parts. As children of a self-proclaimed feminist, my brother and I grew up using only the anatomical terms for our genitalia, so it’s always interesting for me to see the other terms that children use. All of these pet-names I keep hearing have gotten me thinking about the pros and cons of using scientific terminology to describe childrens’ genitalia. I recently came across a blog post in which a mom discusses her reasoning for using pet-names. Continue Reading →

“A” Pregnant CEO or “The” Pregnant CEO?

Marissa Mayer was just hired as CEO of Yahoo – while pregnant. As pointed out in The Atlantic: “A female chief executive who was hired while she was pregnant — and who will give birth just a few months into her tenure — is a symbolic turning point.” However, Mayer is also undergoing critique at Role Reboot for supporting WalMart: “I want women to succeed at business. But, I want no one to succeed at business who doesn’t respect the rights and dignity of workers, especially low-wage workers, most of whom are women.” Hopefully, women (whether pregnant or not) will continue to enter all levels of the workforce, so that A Pregnant CEO doesn’t need to be held up as the singular example or role model for this kind of phenomenon. Continue Reading →

Attachment Parenting and Sexuality: Does Co-Sleeping Mean No Sex?

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know that I’ve gotten a bit baby-obsessed as of late. No, it’s not the realization that my biological clock is ticking (though it definitely is), but in fact my new-found interest in parenting has stemmed from spending 18 hours a week at a baby boutique. Working in Western Massachusetts, I hear a lot about baby-wearing, green parenting, and, of course, co-sleeping. Co-sleeping, one of the three tenets of attachment parenting, is the practice of sleeping in the same bed as your child. Co-sleeping has tons of benefits, the most important of which is feeling close to your child. Continue Reading →

Why Hide Your Hooters?

Working at a high-end baby store, I spend a lot of time thinking about breasts. You know the drill: breast pumps, nursing bras, reusable nursing pads, and, of course, the infamous Hooter Hiders. Hooter Hiders, made by Bebe au Lait, are essentially glorified aprons specifically designed to cover up during breastfeeding. This of course leads me to ask a pretty obvious question: why do we feel like we need to hide our hooters? Breastfeeding has become more and more taboo over time, which is ridiculous, considering most of us, at one point, gained all of our nutrients from breastfeeding. Continue Reading →

The Sex-Positive Parent: An Interview with Founder Airial Clark

Airial Clark has an MA in Sexuality Studies and is the founder of The Sex-Positive Parent. She writes about the intersection of sex-positivity and parenting for multiple media outlets, teaches workshops for parents who have alternative sexualities, and offers one to one coaching for parents looking for sex-positive strategies and support. I first met Airial when we were both studying Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Who knew we’d both follow careers in sexuality education? When I learned about Airial’s amazing project, The Sex-Positive Parent, I couldn’t wait to share her inspiring message with the MSP community. Continue Reading →

What I’ve Learned About Gender From Working in a Baby Store

Our culture is obsessed with gender. From the moment a new life enters the world, we feel the need to bombard them with “appropriately” colored gifts as a way to reinforce the gender we have assigned. I was aware of this phenomenon before starting work at a baby store, both from my experience as a babysitter and from my gender studies background, but I wasn’t fully aware of how serious people get about their child’s gender. We carry a variety of items in our store, including clothing that is both clearly gendered and gender neutral (or so say the colors). Despite the obvious trend of pink for girls and blue for boys, it still blows my mind when people refuse to buy something because it’s the wrong color. Continue Reading →

Motherhood And Selfishness

In my last post on motherhood, I touched briefly on how women who choose not to have children are often berated for being selfish. I would like to return to this point and explore it a bit further, as I believe it is actually quite multifaceted and functions as a focal point for many of the issues women face today. First, there are many costs, both tangible and intangible, that potential mothers must take into account. These include time spent navigating physical conditions (which could range from negligible to major and incapacitating) as well as the money not only to pay for treatment, but also money lost from not being employed. This article on The Nation analyzes the hidden costs of motherhood, ranging from the unanticipated need to take unpaid leave to outright debt from job loss. Continue Reading →

Child Support Discount?

If you’re anything like me, you have a frequent shopper card for each store on your keychain and more cards in your wallet (related: is it just me or are the frequent shopper stamp cards becoming extinct?). A reverend friend of mine jokingly told a client that if he got married five times, the fifth wedding ceremony was on her – and she ended up performing a free wedding ceremony. So, with this in mind, I can see where Desmond Hatchett is coming from (although I don’t necessarily agree with him). Skimming Yahoo News the other day, I read about Mr Hatchett who is hoping for a break on the child support that he owes for his 30 children. Raising kids is expensive, so I can understand why people request child support (I have two dogs, and that easily adds up – I’m not ready to even think about how much debt I would be in if kids entered the picture). Continue Reading →